Tag Archives: Marriott

Best-Travel-Reward-Programs 2016-alaskan-airlines

Best Travel Reward Programs 2016-2017: Travel Right

If you find yourself spending more time in the air than on land, get ready to take some notes. The US News & World Report has released a new ranking of the best travel rewards program for the year, and have named Wyndham Rewards and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan as the top in their categories.

Reward programs can be notoriously difficult to deal with; the inflexible rules and fine print can easily destroy hopes of redeeming the points you’ve worked so hard to accumulate over the years. Editors of the online ranking website had compared some 28 hotel and airline loyalty programs in the United States to determine the consumers’ best options.

“”The Best Travel Rewards Programs make it easier for travelers to understand and select the right program for them. The top ranked programs offer travelers perks they care about, such as room upgrades, free checked bags and easy ways to accumulate miles and points,” said Erin Shields, travel editor at US News. True enough, many factors were considered: size and diversity of every airline or hotel network, the rate at which members can accumulate miles and redeem points and ease of utilizing the rewards.

Wyndham-Boston-Beacon-Hill

Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill

The list has seen some surprising entries – Wyndham Rewards takes top spot for hotel loyalty programs for the first time ever. It is easy to see why – besides allowing members to redeem free nights at 7,800 hotels across their network, it’s also rolled out additional benefits such as flexible check-in and check-out options, free amenities and suite upgrades for their most loyal customers.

The best way to fly, apparently, is now with Alaskan Airlines. Its mileage plan was named the best airline rewards program, as they reward points based on number of miles flown instead of the usual dollars spent.

Here, we bring you the rest of the rankings, so your next holiday experience will be a little sweeter.

Top 5 airline loyalty rewards programs:

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

JetBlue TrueBlue

Southwest Rapid Rewards

Delta SkyMiles

Virgin America Elevate

Top 5 hotel rewards programs:

Wyndham Rewards

Choice Privileges (Tie)

Marriott Rewards (Tie)

Best Western Rewards

La Quinta Returns

 

ritz-carlton-charging-stations

Ritz-Carlton Expands Electric Car Charging Stations

We can almost hear electric car owners rejoicing – Ritz-Carlton has joined hotel brands the likes of Hilton and Marriott in expanding the number of charging stations for guests. Well, for now this rejoicing is (mostly) confined to North America but this initiative is rolling out in major metropolises around the world.

Hotel guests across North America and select Ritz-Carlton properties worldwide will have access to stations that will power up their cars for the next 150 miles (we assume the metric system will be used outside the US), or two-and-a-half hours of driving. With the advancement of technology and an improvement in overall battery life, the popularity of electric cars have increased exponentially.

All this is good news for the ecosystem, even accounting for the damage that battery factories inflict. Following a battery upgrade, BMW has seen sales of its i3 soar three times than when its first-generation was launched. Last year, Hilton announced plans to expand their electric vehicle-charging program to 100 properties across the US by the end of 2016 – a decision based on InsideEV’s Monthly Scorecard, which indicated sales of electric vehicles at 350,000 since 2010. Marriott also provides more than 250 charging stations throughout their properties internationally.

Hilton and Marriott Top Hotel Rewards Ranking

A new report reveals Hilton and Marriott to be the top hotels in terms of rewarding guests for their loyalty. Looking through the responses of nearly 3,100 consumers in the US, the Hilton HHonors and Marriott Rewards program tied for first with an overall satisfaction score of 741, out of a maximum 1,000. These were improvements to the brands’ score compared to the previous year, and it also marks the second year that Hilton HHonors has taken the top rank in the report from the market research group J.D. Power.

The report measures customer satisfaction based on six factors: account maintenance and management; ease of redeeming points; ease of earning points; variety of benefits; reward program terms; and customer satisfaction. The overall satisfaction with hotel loyalty programs also spiked across the board, improving from 701 in 2015 to 711 this year.

“At Hilton, customer experience is at the heart of everything we do. Our team members around the world are passionate about delivering impeccable, personalized service to our guests and that is why it’s an honor to once again be recognized by J.D. Power,” said Mark Weinstein, senior vice president and global head of Loyalty & Partnerships, Hilton Worldwide, in an article by BusinessWire.

These are the top hotel rewards programs as ranked by J.D. Power:

1. Hilton HHonors
2. Marriott Rewards
3. IHG Rewards
4. La Quinta Returns
5. Best Western Rewards
6. Choice Privileges
7. Omni Hotel Select Guest
8. Club Carlson
9. Hyatt Gold Passport
10. Fairmont President’s Club

VRoom Service

Marriott to test VR headsets for guests

VRoom Service

Visitors to the New York Marriott Marquis and the London Marriott Park Lane will be able to order a Samsung Gear headset as part of the their room service menu.

The pilot scheme, which will run for an initial two-week period is called “Vroom Service”. A headset plus headphones are delivered to the room on request and users will get to experience an immersive virtual travel experience especially created or the hotel chain.

QANTAS FIRST CLASS FLYERS TO GET VR HEADSETS

“Travel expands our minds and helps push our imagination,” said Matthew Carroll, vice president, Marriott Hotels.

“Our guests want to be in inventive spaces that help foster their creativity and thinking. VRoom combines storytelling with technology, two things that are important to next-generation travelers.”

Luxury Hotel Bedding from Marriott Hotels

Marriott guests can now text hotel for extra pillows

Luxury Hotel Bedding from Marriott Hotels

Forget to ask for a 6 am wake-up call? Or a batch of new towels? Marriott Hotels has launched a new mobile service that allows guests to text their requests to the front desk from the convenience of their mobile phones.

Called Mobile Request, the feature is an add-on to their mobile app and was developed for the convenience of hotel guests on the move and on the run.

For example, during the testing phase, business travelers used the service to make requests while at their conference or business meeting, saving them the trouble of having to look up the hotel number and punching in the digits, says Marriott.

The feature can also be used to request an airport pick-up, up to 72 hours before check-in.

Guests can choose to either converse with a Marriott host in a real-time two-way chat dubbed “Anything Else?” or make requests from a drop-down menu with the most popular services such as extra towels or pillows.

Mobile Request rolled out across 46 hotels this week, and will be launched systemwide throughout the summer for the 50 million members of the loyalty program, Marriott Rewards.

Worry-free travel

The Little Things That Make a Difference When Traveling for Business

The Little Things That Make a Difference When Traveling for Business

Brought to you by SpringHill Suites by Marriott®

Traveling for business can be a stressful time. But with the right mindset, business travel can give you a chance to indulge while you’re away from home! We’ve compiled five easy tips to help you de-stress, enjoy the little things and embrace theescape from your routine.

Worry-free travel

1. Start Your Day Off Right

Early flights and time zone changes can leave you feeling sluggish and jet lagged. That’s not the best way to feel before your upcoming meetings.

Try searching for a morning pick-me-up with a local flare. Put your new cities’ java brews to the test by finding the local go-to coffee shop. It can also be a great place to plug in your laptop and catch up on work in a new setting. Soaking in the local flavors might just spark the creativity you need to power through that presentation.

2. Treat Your Tastebuds

Visiting a new city is the perfect excuse to indulge in your environmentand expand your pallet. Take in your surroundings and treat yourself to local fare. Be adventurous and pick a spot with a variety of items you haven’t tried yet. You just might find original interpretations of the classic foods you love, with a local spin.

3. Pamper Yourself

When traveling, it’s important to pay attention to both the inner and outer you. Flying at high altitude not only takes a toll on your body, leaving you hair and skin feeling dry and out of sorts, but it can also make you restless and feel out of balance. Counteract the tolls of traveling and reach a new level of relaxation by indulging in local spa treatments and setting aside some extra time to find a yoga class. Or it can be as easy as finding a comfortable space to take a couple of deep breaths and zen out.

4. Get Adventurous

It’s important to remember that it’s not all business on a business trip. There is no better time to embrace your inner explorer than whenvisiting a new city.Discover hidden gems by taking a few laps around the block or scheduling a meeting in a location off the beaten path.It’s the unexpected experiences found within the nooks and crannies that will make you fall in love with a city.

5. Relax En Route

Traveling can be stressful, especiallywhen trying to navigate through every aspect of the airport process. Try to arrive on time, wear slip on shoes and remember the 3-1-1 rule (3.4oz. bottle or less placed in a 1 quart sized clear plastic bag and 1 bag per passenger) to get through security faster. Have a long layover? Make sure to bring a neck pillow for support to help you stay comfortable in any environment.

To help make the sometimes hectic airport experience a little more inviting, SpringHill Suites surprised travelers at Oakland International Airport by transforming the typical airport security setting into a visually stimulating experience with bright, inspiring images. The calm zone also offers comfortable seating allowing travelers to unwind, relax and indulge in the amenities provided.

Watch the full airport transformation in the video below.

This calm zone experience brought to travelers by SpringHill Suites doesn’t stop at the airport. SpringHill Suites offers guests a spacious suite with a vibrant, stylish lobby that offers space to work, mix or mingle.

Other little extras and small delights help you effortlessly pivot from work to play so that you can take full advantage of your hard earned “me time.”

For more information or to book your next stay, visit marriott.com/springhill-suites.

Hero4Black

Marriott + GoPro

Guests staying at select  will be able to share their experiences scuba diving in the Caribbean, summiting Machu Picchu, or jungle trekking with friends and family back home in a new program that will lend out complimentary GoPro cameras.

The program has been launched in 17 properties across the Caribbean and Latin America, destinations that also attract many an outdoor adventurer for the variety of adrenaline-pumping and scenic activities.

As part of the program, guests will be able to take GoPro’s latest Hero4 camera for a test drive. GoPro cameras are compact, lightweight devices designed to capture extreme-action video photography.

SEE ALSO: MANDARIN ORIENTAL OFFERS SELFIE PACKAGE

Hero4Black

Guests who share their photos and videos on social media using the hashtags #GoPro, #travelbrilliantly and #viajegenial may see their content shared across Marriott International’s social media channels and in-room entertainment systems.

Visit the Marriott website to find out exactly which hotels are participating in the promotion.

Marriott Hotels Kube Power Station

Marriott trials wireless charging in hotel lobbies

Marriott Hotels Kube Power Station

The  has rolled out wireless charging devices designed to enable guests to travel sans power chords.

The hotel has placed Kube Systems’ portable charging stations in the lobbies of 29 hotels this month, small boxes that can power up to six devices at a time using their Qi wireless charging technology.

To use, guests rest their smartphones on the transmitter.

According to a Marriott Hotels survey, the new technology will help the average business traveler, who carries up to three mobile devices with them on the road, to leave tangles of power chords at home.

The move, meanwhile, may come a little too late for the hotel chain, which suffered a PR disaster after it was fined $600,000 by the US Federal Communications Commission for deliberately jamming up personal Wifi hotspots and forcing guests to pony up and join the hotel’s paying network.

WHICH TRAVEL REWARDS PROGRAM SHOULD YOU JOIN?

Jetblue

Which Travel Rewards Program Should You Join?

Jetblue

Your odds of finally accruing enough points to get a free flight or free night’s stay are best if you’re a loyalty member of JetBlue and Marriott, according to a new report that did the number crunching for US airlines and hotels.

In US News & World Report’s 2014-2015 Best Travel Rewards Programs report, JetBlue stole the top spot from last year’s winner, Southwest Airlines.

To determine the best airline reward programs, analysts evaluated flight volume, geographic coverage, free flight options, ease of earning a free round-trip flight and additional benefits the programs had to offer.

Editors also considered the carrier’s score on Airline Quality Rating, which measures on-time arrivals, lost or mishandled baggage and complaints.

JetBlue TrueBlue program members earn points for every dollar spent on flights. But flyers can also earn points on Emirates and Hawaiian Airlines, as well as hotel stays and car rentals on their retail partners.

There are no blackout dates for JetBlue flights.

Marriott Rewards

In the hotel category,  topped the list for a consecutive year, after analysts looked at everything from network size to property diversity, geographic coverage and the ease of earning free nights.

Guests can accrue points at sister hotel chains across 70 countrie that include the Ritz-Carlton, Courtyard Marriott, Renaissance and JW Marriott.

Rules are also less rigid than other rewards programs, with no blackout dates for redeeming free nights on standard rooms.

Here are the top three airline rewards programs in the US:

1. JetBlue TrueBlue
2. Southwest Rapid Rewards
3. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Top three hotel reward programs:

1. Marriott Rewards
2. IHG Rewards Club
3. Best Western Rewards

For the full list visit http://bit.ly/1svlLoZ.

Moxy hotels living room

Marriott announces rates for Moxy Milan

Moxy hotels living room

Rooms will be available for €79 per night (around $110) at the Moxy Milan, which is scheduled to open on September 1.

Geared towards younger travelers, the hotel is the first in a chain created by Marriott in partnership with Inter Hospitality, a division of the Ikea Group.

To encourage as many travelers as possible to check out its new concept, the Moxy will offer a promotional rate of €55 per night from September 1 through October 31. From November 1, rooms will be priced at €79 per night.

Moxy hotels restaurant

Since their new brand is marketed primarily to millennials, Marriott and Inter Hospitality are betting big on social networks to get the word out.

For this reason, from the day of the grand opening, guests who post a photo of themselves at the hotel to Instagram/MoxyHotels with the hashtag #atthemoxy will receive a voucher for €5 off of their breakfast.

Located just outside the Malpensa Airport, the Moxy Milan is designed to appeal to young travelers looking for stylish yet affordable accommodations!

Marriott Rewards

The top 10 hotel loyalty programs for 2014

Marriott Rewards

Hotel guests have given top marks to the Marriott chain for its loyalty program, which was ranked the top in overall customer satisfaction.

Marriott Rewards received an overall customer satisfaction score of 707 on a 1,000-point scale, according to the first hotel-program survey by market research company J.D. Power.

Loyalty programs were weighted on five factors: account maintenance, ease of points or miles redemption, ease of earning points or miles, reward program conditions and customer service.

Marriott includes brands such as the Ritz-Carlton, Bvlgari, JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, and Gaylord Hotels.

Second was IHG, which includes Candlewood Suites, Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, Intercontinental Hotel & Resorts, among others. It received a score of 704. Third was Delta Hotels Delta Privilege, which is based in Canada.

Here are the Top hotel loyalty programs for 2014:

  1. Marriott Rewards
  2. IHG Rewards Club
  3. Delta Priviledge
  4. La Quinta Returns
  5. Drury Gold Key Club
  6. Hilton HHonors
  7. Choice Privileges
  8. Club Carlson
  9. Fairmont President’s Club
  10. Starwood Preferred Guest

Marriott to open Moxy Hotel in Milan

Marriott International is launching Moxy, a new economy-focused brand, in partnership with Inter Hospitality, a division of the Ikea Group. The first Moxy hotel will open near the Milan airport next September.

Moxy hotels living room

Designed to appeal to Millennials, the Moxy Milan Malpensa Airport will aim to offer a comfortable and stylish hotel at an affordable price.

Guests at the hotel will be met with a hip and contemporary interior design, and each room will have a unique “art wall” with a design inspired by the city and its surroundings.

The public spaces will be adaptable, allowing guests to enjoy healthy breakfast choices in the morning and taste wines or local beers in the evening.

moxy hotels buffet

To cater to Millennials traveling for business, the hotel will offer “Plug and Meet” meeting spaces complete with walls guests can write on. In the lobby, guests will find computers and a 24/7 market for snacks at all hours.

Five additional Moxy hotels are expected to open throughout Europe before the end of 2015. A hotel near the Munich airport (317 rooms) and one near Berlin’s Ostbahnhof train station (190 rooms) will open in the spring of next year. The following summer will see the opening of new Moxy hotels near the Frankfurt airport (305 rooms) and near the Berlin airport (266 rooms).

Moxy hotels restaurant

Finally, in the fall, the Moxy Oslo Exporama (229 rooms) will open 15 minutes from the Norwegian city’s airport and downtown.

The new brand is expected to open 150 new hotels over the coming decade.

sheraton milan malpensa airport hotel

Residence Inn Sarajevo

Marriott Moves Into Sarajevo

In another sign that interest in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a tourist destination is growing, Marriott International has announced plans to open its first hotel in the region by late 2014.

Residence Inn Sarajevo

The Residence Inn Sarajevo is located 20 min from the airport near the old city and feature 75 suites. When it enters the market next year, Marriott International will become the only internationally branded hotel in the country. The move also points to Sarajevo’s potential as an evolving business destination.

mobilecheckin

Would you miss hotel check-in desks?

mobilecheckin

In yet another development in the hotel industry that could threaten to render front desks obsolete, Marriott Hotels has launched a virtual mobile check-in service that aims to shave guests precious minutes when they arrive at their hotel and cater to the ‘invisible’ traveler.

Once they have downloaded the Marriott Mobile app, guests can use their smartphones to check in at 4 pm the day before their arrival. They will also receive a notification when their room is ready.

Not unlike baggage drop-off desks for fliers who’ve checked in for their flight online, Marriott guests also bypass the traditional front desk and go to a designated mobile check-in counter, where they’ll find their key card and can proceed straight to their room.

Marriott’s mobile check-in service is available across 329 Marriott properties across the US and Canada (excluding Quebec) and will also roll out to 15 other countries including the UK, China, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and India by late November.

Marriott Mobile check in

Marriott International's tote bag

Marriott recycles bed linen to create tote bags

Marriott International's tote bag

Marriott International, together with British luxury brand Lily and Lionel and non-profit company SleepingBags, is releasing a limited edition tote bag made entirely of recycled bed linens from its hotels.

With the launch of this limited edition bag, Marriott International scores two points for corporate social responsibility. The first involves the reduction in waste that comes from upcycling its worn out linens, while the second involves committing a share of revenues from the initiative to The Prince’s Trust, a charity working to improve the lives of disadvantaged youth.

The dark grey bag has been printed with a blue and white design from Lily and Lionel, depicting birds in flight around a globe.

Only 1,000 of these tote bags will be produced, and each will sell for €23 (£20) through the Marriott website.

Marriott International launches Arabic website

Paris Marriott Hotel Champs Elysees

In a bid to woo an increasingly important market segment — affluent Arabic speakers and frequent flyers from the Middle East — the Marriott hotel chain has launched its international website in Arabic.

The new portal allows Arabic-speaking customers around the world to book stays across the chain’s 3,800 properties in 74 countries.

Marriott has asserted a strong presence in Dubai, where it boasts the tallest hotel in the world. The JW Marriott Marquis Dubai (below) stands at 355 meters and consists of twin towers each with 77 floors.

More than $100 million of revenue is booked annually via marriott.com in Arabic-speaking countries, the company says. The Marriott joins the Fairmont and the Hilton in offering website services in Arabic.

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai

Ikea Logo

Marriott, IKEA team up to launch new hotel brand

ikea bed

US hotel chain Marriott said Tuesday it is teaming up with IKEA to launch of new budget hotel brand in Germany and Europe, called Moxy Hotels.

Over the next 10 years, 150 low-cost hotels will be opened in 10 different countries, Marriott chief Arne Sorenson told a news conference in Berlin.

In addition to Germany, hotels would be opened in Austria, Britain, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

The very first Moxy Hotel would open in Milan at the start of next year, Sorenson said. The new brand was targeted at a young, price-conscious, well travelled clientele.

JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Thumb

World’s tallest hotel officially open for business

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai Photo

Dubai rolled out the red carpet Wednesday night for a roster of celebrities that included British singer Leona Lewis to help open the tallest hotel in the world.

In a city already oozing with glitz and glamour, the opening party for the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai amped up the voltage escorting 1,200 party guests into the hotel with fire dances and stilt walkers under the constant flicker of flashbulbs.

At just 26 meters shy of the Empire State Building in NYC, the world’s tallest hotel stands at 355 meters (1,175 feet) and consists of twin towers each with 77 floors.

The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, which sits on floors 102-118 of the 1,588-foot International Commerce Centre remains the highest hotel in the world, but the JW Marriott Marquis is the tallest building dedicated entirely to a hotel.

Performances included a headline act by British singer Leona Lewis, while the guest list included appearances by fashion designer Donna Karan, and local celebrities such as singer Salha, the Million Dollar Band as well as TV personality DJ Bliss.

The hotel’s nine restaurants and five bars, which serve a variety of cuisines including Asian-Fusion, Italian, American, German, and steakhouse fare, are now open.

Other Guinness world record holders in Dubai include the Burj Khalifa, which at 828 meters (2,716 feet) is the tallest man-made structure on land, and the Dubai Mall, the largest of its kind in the world.

Plans are also afoot to build the largest Ferris wheel in Dubai, with the Dubai Eye.

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai

Hotel brands with top online street cred

Hilton Hotel Shanghai

When it comes to online chatter about the best hotels for service, location, rooms and amenities, the Hilton, Marriott and Four Seasons brands come out on top.

Between May and October 2012, the trio of hotel names ranked highest in what market research company MavetMagnet calls ‘Conversational Relevance’ which measures both the amount and positivity of a hotel brand’s online buzz.

In areas such as service and location Hilton Hotels earned a positive score of 58 percent, followed by Marriott at 56 percent, and the Four Seasons with 51 percent.

Other elements that proved to be important to hotel guests included everything from the view, water pressure – for which the Ritz-Carlton and the Hilton emerged as leaders – service and the brand’s cachet, dominated by the Four Seasons.

Other findings:

– Among the most important attributes for hotel guests are the property’s location, centrality and accessibility to nearby amenities: Nearly two-thirds of online conversation on the ‘functionality’ of a hotel revolved around these considerations

– A hotel room’s size, connectivity and technology are among the most important to guests.

– The shower’s water pressure is more important than the comfort of a bed.

– The hotel staff’s responsiveness to personal attention and needs is also much talked about/

– Family travelers were particularly concerned about room noise.

Meanwhile, as of 11 am GMT, February 18, the top hotel influencers on social media tracker Klout include a bevy of Las Vegas properties including the MGM Grand Las Vegas, Caesars Palace, Mandalay Bay and the Palms Casino Resort.